After this weekend’s successful 20-mile run, I want to run around like Spongebob: “I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready.”
My parents came out Friday night and we went out to eat at a new pizza pub near us called Right Coast Pizza Company. The place was packed and it took a while to get our food, but when it did come, the pizza and bruschetta were amazing. I would definitely go back.
We rented the movie J. Edgar from Red Box and so I ended up staying up until almost 11 before deciding I really needed to go to bed, considering I had 20 miles to run in the morning. The movie wasn’t even that great – very slow-moving albeit somewhat interesting.
The next morning, I got up at 4:40 to get running by 5. The race start was at 8 am, it would take 30 minutes to drive there, and I wanted to run all 7 additional miles before the race, since it was supposed to be 90 degrees later. I was so nervous/excited about running 20 miles that I didn’t sleep very well (woke up at least once every hour) and I woke up without an alarm clock. I had gotten everything ready the night before so I just had to get dressed, eat breakfast and head out the door. I’ve decided that my best pre-race fuel is a blueberry or cinnamon raisin bagel with butter, eaten 5-15 minutes before starting my run. The butter doesn’t seem to bother my acid reflux like peanut butter does.
I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of running 20 miles when I headed out but it’s hard to not enjoy running in the morning. Everything feels so fresh and sunny. Even though my legs felt pretty good, I kept my pace very conservative and easy.
By the time I got back, my gray shirt (that I was planned to wear for the marathon) was already soaked… making me decide against wearing it for the actual marathon.
I changed my sports bra and shirt, drank a glass of chocolate milk, grabbed my stuff and by 6:45, we were heading up to Louisville for the Taste of Louisville half marathon.
Finding the park and getting our bibs and timing chips was a breeze. We had just enough time to run our stuff back to the car and stand in line for the bathroom before they announced we should start lining up.
Women’s on left, Men’s on right
Soon, we were off. Right away, we settled into a very comfortable, easy pace. All of the other racers took off so we were pretty much alone for the first 5 miles, with the except of a few racers around us. Aid stations were roughly every 2 miles and were well-stocked with water, oranges, grapes and bananas. I ate several oranges and grapes out on the course and even though my parents were waiting at Mile 6 with Honey Stingers, I didn’t feel like I needed them. The course was also very well-marked and very pretty – we ran through a lot of neighborhoods and quite a bit of the trails were gravel and shaded. Tons of volunteers were helping out too. I’d definitely do this race again!
My stomach wasn’t feeling the greatest for the first 2-3 miles. Maybe it was drinking the chocolate milk in between my runs? Whatever it was, I’m not too concerned about it happening during the marathon since I won’t be taking an 90 minute break in the middle.
Around Mile 3, we started catching up to the runners in front of us and we ended up passing quite a few over the course of the morning. I may not be a fast runner, but I’m a steady one!
After Mile 4, we started to pick up the pace and I had a full-blown runner’s high. Legs felt great. Lungs felt great. Travis said that I talked the most he’s ever heard me talk on a run. I was just having a really great time!
The course has 2 out and back loops – one is Mile 1 to Mile 6, the other Mile 6 to Mile 12.5. So when we reached Mile 6, we got to see the first male coming in on his last mile, as well as all of the other runners in front of us. Even though it made the trail a little crowded at times, I really liked this. It made me feel like I was actually in a race instead of just out for a run with Travis (because when you’re in the back of the pack, sometimes it doesn’t feel like you’re even in a race!)
I was encouraging other runners and thanking the volunteers and loving life until about Mile 9 – when that turnaround seemed so. far. away. and my hips, specifically the left, had started throbbing. It wasn’t that surprising though, since I was technically on Mile 16.
Even though it was HOT, we kept up the pace until a major hill at Mile 12, and then slowly made our way to the finish line.
Finally, the finish line was in sight. I ran as fast as my tired legs would carry me and was SO excited to be done! I ran 20 MILES!
20 miles. Done.
Not only that, I beat my Colorado Half Marathon time (2:30:52) again! Our official net time was 2:30:05. Even though it wasn’t a PR, I didn’t care at all. I didn’t go into the race thinking it would be, I ran at a good pace, I LOVED THE EXPERIENCE, Travis ran with me, my parents were spectating, and it was the culmination of my marathon training. It is a huge blessing to reach this point in my training without injury and feeling as good as I did.
Now you can see why I feel like Spongebob. I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready. I’m confident that with tapering, sea level altitude and the race excitement, I’ll have the energy and strength I need to run the full 26.2 miles in a little over 2.5 weeks. I just need to stay motivated to run for the next 19 days and I’m golden (note to self).
So with that said, these are the race goals I’m toying with:
Goal A (This is AMAZING!, 11:26 average pace) – 5:00:00 or less
Goal B (I love running!!, 11:50 average pace) – 5:10:00 or less
Goal C (I feel pretty good, 12:15 average pace) – 5:20:00 or less
Goal D (This is tough but I’m finishing, dangit, 12:35 average pace) – 5:30:00 or less
But ultimately, since this could be the only marathon I run ever (or at least for the foreseeable future), I want to enjoy the experience like I did on Saturday. Run at a comfortable pace. If one mile is slower, don’t sweat it. If 20 miles are slower, don’t sweat it. Stop at the aid stations. Walk if you need to. Say hi to fellow runners and the volunteers. Take it all in. As long as I enjoy the race, I don’t really care about my pace. (Though I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t choose a faster time over a slower one.)
The 2o mile run being over also means… IT’S TAPER TIME! So. excited. I Heart Taper.